The king of the british newspaper adventure strip heroes is, of course, Garth, whose exploits ran in The Daily Mirror from 1943 to 1997. Certain comic strips tend to remind you of certain people, and Garth always reminds me of my Grandad. The Old Man ( as East End dad's and grandad's are always referred to ) bought The Mirror every day to read over his pint, making Garth this mysterious, exotic strip I only ever got to read once he'd finished with it. And because I never managed to read a whole story in one go, it never seemed to make the slightest bit of sense. I'm still not sure it does.
Garth is kind of a cross between Superman, Conan, Dr. Who & Micheal Moorcock's Eternal Champion. As well as having adventures on alien worlds, Garth has seemingly been around forever, having lived through hundreds of incarnations, and can go back in time, to relive the exploits of his past lives. For instance, here's Garth when he was Lord Richard Carthewan, fighting The Borgia's in 16th century Venice:
And here he is back in the old west, when he was Marshal Tom Barratt, the only law in the mining town of Gopherville:
While back in the swinging '70's, Garth foils an attempted kidnapping in London's glittering West End:
And, finally, here's the big lug fighting for the amusement of his alien captors on the planet of Galba:
Garth had many creative teams, but the most fondly remembered artists to work on the strip were Martin Asbury, and the man he replaced, Frank Bellamy ( who drew all the pages here ).
Considering it's staggering run, and it's popularity, there's not much of Garth in print these days. There were a couple of reprint books in the '70's, and, in the '80's, Titan did 2 books with much the same material, but that's really it for the classic stuff.
Garth has sort of returned, as a new strip by David Seidel & Huw-J is running on The Daily Mirror's website, with a more hoodied & baseball capped Garth, and there is talk of a full- fledged return to The Mirror's comic page, which'd be nice, but I'd still like to see more of Bellamy's & Asbury's run's in print too.
Iron Fist and Kwai Chang Caine
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